Travelport acquires Hotelzon to spearhead further hotel growth
16/06/2014 12:21 pm EDT

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Travelport, a leading travel commerce marketplace providing distribution, technology, payment and other solutions for the $7 trillion global travel and tourism industry, announced that it has acquired Hotelzon, a leading, B2B hotel distribution technology provider, from former owner, Esa Karppinen, for an undisclosed sum. The investment forms part of Travelport’s ongoing strategy to redefine and strengthen its hotel offering to both corporations and travel management companies (TMCs).

Specifically, the acquisition also supports Travelport’s drive to make booking independent hotels easier for business travellers.

Travelport’s focus over the last few years on growing its ‘Beyond Air’ offering, which includes hotels, car rental and payments, has been in response to the growth opportunities it has identified in these sectors as well as feedback from corporations, hotel providers and travel agency customers. In the hotel sector, global hotel booking value is projected to grow 6% per annum from $480bn in 2013 to $600bn in 2017. The hotel industry, however, remains highly fragmented, with the top ten global hotel chains representing less than 20% of room revenue in every region except North America, Australasia and the Middle East and Africa (source: Euromonitor).

With only 30% to 50% of corporate hotel buying going through TMCs and many bookings still being booked direct by business travellers themselves, the Hotelzon acquisition is designed to provide both corporations and Travelport-connected travel agencies with a best-in-class booking tool with extensive independent hotel content. The Hotelzon solution also works well when a hotel booking is not an ‘add on’ to an air booking. This is particularly the case for travel within Continental Europe, where many business trips actually take place in the traveller’s home country or to bordering countries, and trains and cars are often the preferred method of transport rather than flights.

Hotelzon will continue to operate under its existing brand and be led by incumbent CEO, Jani Kaskinen, who will report into Niklas Andréen who heads up Travelport’s Global Hospitality, Car & Advertising business.

The acquisition complements and further strengthens Travelport’s current hotel offering to corporations and TMCs by providing the following benefits:
-Expanded hotel content in both Travelport’s and Hotelzon’s booking platforms: bringing an additional 30,000 hotel properties into Travelport’s Travel Commerce Platform, in particular, new European independent and small hotel chain properties that were previously unavailable. Likewise, Travelport’s hotel content will be made available to Hotelzon’s travel agency and corporate customers.

-New industry-leading technology, including Hotelzon’s corporate self-booking tool. The enhanced functionality will allow Travelport to more effectively serve both the expanding needs of its corporate customers, in a space that is of g